1/30/2005

a "party atmosphere" in Baghdad

This used to be the lead paragraph, but keeps being shunted down:

But if the insurgents wanted to stop people in Baghdad from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner.


Mabruk, ya Iraqiiyah! Today, Alija Izetbegovic's words ring true:

Dictatorship is immoral even when it prohibits sin, democracy is moral even when it allows it. Morality is inseparable from freedom. Only free conduct is moral conduct. By negating freedom, and thus the possibility of choice, a dictatorship contains in its premises the negation of morality. To that extent, regardless of all historical apparitions, dicatorship and religion are mutually exclusive. For, just as in the body-spirit dilemma, religion always favors the spirit, so in the choice of between wanting and behaving, intent and action, it will always favor wanting and intent, regarldless of the result, that is, the consequence. In religion, an action is not valued without the intention, without "intent," that is, without an opportunity or freedom to act or not act. Just as coercive starvation is not a fast, so the coerced good is not good and is from the religious standpoint valueless. That is why the freedom of choice, that is, of action or lack of it, of abiding or transgressing, is the prerequisite at the basis of all prerequisites of all religions and all morality. And that is why the elimination of this choice, either by physical force in dictatorship or obedience training in utopia, signifies their negation. From this the idea follows that every truly human society must be a community of free individuals. It must limit the number of its laws and interventions (degree of external coercion) to that necessary extent in which the freedom of choice between good and evil is maintained, so that people would do good, not because they must, but because they want to.


For more on Izetbegovic, the "anti-Qutb", see these posts at Ideofact.

2 comments:

Abu Noor said...

Aziz, although normally I hate to speculate as to what so and so would think about a certain topic without direct evidence I do just want as a quick reality check that it's highly doubtful that Izetbegovic would consider himself to the anti-Qutb. While there may be some things he would frankly disagree with Qutb on, and much that he would feel should be expressed in different ways practically and rhetorically than Qutb, he would certainly agree with a lot more of what Qutb said than would justify a labelling of him as anti-Qutb.

I always feel a bit strange trying to counter what people say in admiration of Izetbegovic since I admire him myself but truth is truth and admiration based on false images of what Qutb and Izetbegovic are about are not helpful.

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